Bulgarian Language Acquisitions at LC


A member of NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Bulgaria is a large country rich in mineral resources, particularly lignite and anthracite coal. It also has significant deposits of nonferrous ores, rock salt, and kaolin. Its population is about seven million, the majority of whom are ethnic Bulgarians. The president is directly elected for a five-year term with one reelection, and serves as head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. The president schedules elections and referenda, represents the country abroad, concludes international treaties, heads the Consultative Council for National Security, and has a limited veto power. In addition, the president heads the Supreme Court of Cassation and is responsible for enforcing constitutional rights and ensuring public safety. The government is a parliamentary republic, and the president and prime minister are accountable to the legislature, which has a two-thirds majority in both houses.

The modern standard Bulgarian language is a fusional inflecting Slavic language. It retains the inflection of number and gender in nouns, but case inflection has disappeared, and adjectives agree with the noun they modify in number and gender. In addition, Bulgarian has a distinctive verbal system. It has lost the infinitive, but kept most of the complexities of the older conjugation system (including the opposition between the aorist and imperfect), and developed a complex evidential system to distinguish witnessed from several kinds of nonwitnessed information.

Other notable features of the language are a dental click [] that is used as an interrogative and a gesture of head-shaking that signifies “no.” The Bulgarian alphabet includes the Cyrillic alphabet, but some Bulgarians also use the Latin alphabet, which is used in written publications and by the Orthodox Church.

LC began to acquire Bulgarian journals in the nineteenth century, although the first issue of the nineteenth-century magazine Dennitsa was published only in 1891. Because funds for the purchase of noncurrent materials were often unavailable, exchange became the primary mode of acquisition.

Today, LC staff involved in Bulgarian acquisitions number three: a Bulgarian recommending officer/reference specialist in the European Division who also works with Russian (this author), a Bulgarian acquisitions specialist/Slavic serials cataloger in the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate (ABA), and one support staff to help process the materials. LC’s current holdings of Bulgarian print material include a variety of monographs, periodicals, and sound recordings. Bulgarian-language newspapers are primarily available through subscriptions, but some can be acquired through LC’s Interlibrary Loan program. Some titles are also available on microfilm and in digital format. A listing of current foreign language newspaper holdings in LC is available here.